Fun in spring at Powder Mountain Snomobile Hill Climb

Apr 17 2011 - 9:49am

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(ANTHONY SOUFFLE/Standard-Examiner) A participant makes his way around the Snowmobile Hill Climb course at Powder Mountain.
(ANTHONY SOUFFLE/Standard-Examiner) A participant makes his way around the Snowmobile Hill Climb course at Powder Mountain.

EDEN -- They've got a lot of snow and a big hill.

With ski season coming to a close, those reasons make the resort the perfect location for its first-ever Snowmobile Hill Climb, said Gregg Greer, Powder Mountain president and CEO.

"It's for people who love being in the outdoors and love going fast -- both up and downhill," he said.

About 200 participants registered for Saturday's competition, which consisted of about 30 classes or races that took place on the 1,150 vertical-foot Cache Bowl, which is near the resort's Parking lot and lodge.

Racer Rusty Johnson, who has been competing in snowmobiling events for more than 23 years, said the new course was more spectator-friendly than some of the other courses he races in Utah, Idaho and Montana.

"The layout on this is one of the better ones," he said. "The spectators can see the whole course from start to finish."

Johnson, of North Ogden, said most other races he participates in allow spectators to watch the beginning of the race or the finish line, but the spectators at Powder Mountain were able to catch a glimpse of racers from the start at the bottom of the hill to the finish at the top.

Greer said Powder Mountain teamed up with the Rocky Mountain Snowmobile Hill Climb Association.

Hosting the event gave snowmobilers a chance to race on a mountainous ski area -- something Powder Mountain can allow because it is on private land and not Forest Service land, he said.

Junior, women and pro classes all raced during the day, as well as a locals-only race that will result in one being named "King of the Mountain" and awarded a $500 cash prize today.

Greer said the event appeals to families and those of all ages, much like the ski sports do during the traditional winter season.

"Those who ski and snowboard, it is very family- oriented. They have four generations of skiers," he said.

"We've got great- grandparents and 2-year-olds on the mountain. That same thing is going on with people who love snowmobiles."

Greer estimated Saturday afternoon that nearly 500 people had gathered to watch the races, dotting the hillside in lawn chairs along the roped-off course.

Wendi and Mike Fuller, of Ogden, said they came to watch the races because they also own snowmobiles and ski Powder Mountain throughout the winter.

"We came to see the sleds on the slopes that we ski," Mike said.

He said they like to see the new sleds that people are racing, but this snowmobile race had a more unique appeal than others.

"This one in particular, I like to see Powder Mountain getting torn up by those (snowmobile) skis."

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